DeLuxe Cake & Pastry Shop, ca. 1945 / Courtesy of IUPUI Library, Neighborhood of Saturdays Collection
Travelers along Maple Road (now 38th Street) in the 1930s and 1940s recognized the DeLuxe Cake & Pastry Shop by its large and unique rolling pin sign with neon letters.
As profiled last week, Kraft’s South Side Baking Company acquired the DeLuxe Bakery & Pastry Shop at 657 E. 38th Street in the late 1930s. As seen in this circa 1945 photograph by Frank M. Kirkpatrick, the 1920s brick storefront was modified with an Art Moderne facelift featuring streamlined black glass panels and curved display windows.
Ladies in white uniforms served Kraft breads, pies, wedding cakes, Danish pastries, and other goodies at the retail shop. The business expanded in about 1948 to supply doughnuts and other baked goods to fifteen Haag and Hooks drug stores for their breakfast and luncheon counters. In 1950 owner Philip Kraft opened independent DeLuxe Cake & Pastry Shops in local grocery stores and eventually operated 35 shops and employed 150 workers (including bakers and deliverymen at the 915 S. Meridian headquarters). John S. Clark bought the pastry business in the late 1950s and changed the name to one that is perhaps more familiar to Indianapolis residents — Roselyn Bakery (a popular bakery chain that closed in 1999).
Aerial photographs indicate that the DeLuxe Cake & Pastry Shop building on 38th Street was razed sometime between 1962 and 1972 and since then the land has served as a parking lot.
As a side note, its interesting to zoom in on the sharply focused 8″ x 10″ photograph and notice details, such as the reflection of the Bass Photo Company photographer and his camera in the bakery’s back door. If you have any information about local photographers (including biographical data, studio names and addresses, dates worked, whereabouts of their collections and records, etc.), please share with the Indiana Photographers Project, a database of Indiana photographers who worked from 1842 through 1960.